Researcher wins funding from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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Medical microbiologist Professor Tim Inglis has been awarded US$100,000 (A$138,160) by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a screening test that will detect antibiotic resistance and ensure the right antibiotics can be prescribed.

Professor Inglis, from UWA’s School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, said the research team’s ultimate goal was to provide evidence-based support for initial antibiotic prescribing decisions.

“Resistant bacteria are chipping away at the 20 years antibiotics add to our life expectancy,” he said.

“Faster methods of detecting resistance are urgently needed so that we can reserve antibiotics for infections where they have proven benefit.”

Professor Inglis said UWA’s team of researchers had taken on the challenge and were starting to profile antibiotic action fast enough to affect clinical decisions. The research group has also helped develop a crowd funding site; Make AMR History.

“The crowd funding site will be supplementing our support from the Gates Foundation and directly benefits our own research students,” he said.

Grand Challenges Explorations is a US$100 (A$1.38) million initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Launched in 2008, over 1186 projects in more than 61 countries have received Grand Challenges Explorations grants.